Alright Facebook, you got me. I aimlessly scroll through news feeds. What? I already know what happens next…
Something that is supposed to trigger an emotional response that I will quickly forget.
And then it happens. Just when I think Facebook can’t be any more invasive or unbundle into another damn app, it releases a feature I’d actually use. Welcome to Facebook floating video. Ever want to watch something, but keep scrolling?
There’s an option for that. Facebook quietly rolled out an extra button today that allows you to pop a video out and keep your fingers swiping.
The default spot for the video is the bottom left, but you can drag it around the screen. Why would you have it in the middle of your screen? I have no idea, but whatever floats your boat.
Once you click to another page, the video disappears. If you’re ‘watching’ you need to be aware of that. You can share the video on your timeline at any point while scrolling through the mass of birthdays, baby pictures, some jackass’s morning latte and whatever the Kardashians did last night.
Facebook vs YouTube
While I like to think the feature is for all of the users out there, the clear target is YouTube. Facebook’s move into video has been astoundingly fast. They cracked the mobile advertising secret and decided to pivot immediately into video.
The company is using its mobile advertising skills to drag advertisers along for the ride. In Q1, the number of daily video views on Facebook broke 4 billion. Now this also counts YouTube videos viewed on the platform, but the company has begun valuing its native player over YouTube.
Before, YouTube had a clear advantage for both creators and advertisers. On the content creation side, YouTube offered direct monetization strategies for users creating the content.
Advertisers had clear paths to get their brands in front of people. Is it the best solution? No, but it was also the only game in town.
That is no longer true. Facebook is rolling out both a CPC and CPM system. Advertisers wanting direct CTR metrics can opt for the more expensive cost-per-click model while those looking for brand awareness can go with the CPM model.
Users who interact with an ad longer will get counted as an action. Advertisers using the CPC model need to know what constitutes an action on Facebook – 10 seconds or so.
For content creators, Facebook is opening up its monetization program. The only way for Facebook to encroach on YouTube is to grab its biggest stars. Facebook is offering up revenue splits comparable to YouTube.
Is it enough? Maybe. It’s hard to tell, What works so well about YouTube is its evergreen quality. It’s highly searchable and easier to navigate. It could be creators find certain subjects work better on Facebook while others fit YouTube’s ecosystem.
It’ll be one hell of a battle. The good news for content creators is that YouTube will have to get off its ass on monetization.
For the users? At least we get to embrace our Internet ADD and pop out a video while we scroll through our feed. Who doesn’t like a shiny new feature? At least we don’t have to download another app.